Learn More About the Man, Woman, and Founder of the Year Honorees

Tom Chandler is a retired Tucson attorney who has spent a lifetime being a champion of the poor, women and minorities. Often working behind the scenes or providing support anonymously, he is known for being humble and good-humored. As an attorney, Chandler helped get the Central Arizona Project to Tucson and was involved in lengthy litigation on behalf of the city to purchase Citizens Utilities Water Company. He’s been a member of the Arizona Board of Regents, and was a founding member of the original Legal Aid organization. Chandler, who graduated first in his law school class of 1946, has mentored lawyers and judges, and promoted excellence in the local judicial system. In 1999, the University of Arizona College of Law founded the Thomas Chandler Public Service Award, which provides exit scholarships to students who pursue careers in public sector law. He is the co-founder of the Arizona Adopt a Classroom Project, which provided assistance to more than 2,000 teachers. He’s a founding member of the Conquistadores, who have now raised more than $26 million for Tucson’s youth sports.

Rick Myers serves as chairman of the Arizona Board of Regents. He is a retired vice president and general manager of IBM Tucson. Myers served on the board of directors for nonprofit Critical Path Institute, where he was also the organization’s chief operating officer for more than three years. He is a member of the Tucson Airport Authority and co-chaired the Citizens Committee of the Regional Transportation Authority in 2006. He is a current member and past chairman of the Southern Arizona Leadership Council. He also chaired the United Way campaign in 2001 and is a past board member of Science Foundation Arizona. Mr. Myers is known for being an outstanding leader, tireless advocate for Southern Arizona and extremely influential in bringing people together in order to effect positive change.

Colleen Niccum is Raytheon’s director of community and government relations and has lived in Tucson for 30 years. She helped found Tucson Values Teachers, a non-profit focused on improving education and aiming to recruit, retain and reward outstanding teachers. She created a unique internship between the UA and Tucson Values Teachers called MASTER-IP, a program that has helped more than 27,000 students. She’s been involved with the Educational Enrichment Foundation, the Tucson Metro Chamber and the statewide organization, Expect More Arizona. She helps link Raytheon tutors with local classrooms and contributes a great deal of time to promoting math and science education. She’s also served on the advisory board for the University of Arizona’s College of Education and was appointed by Gov. Jan Brewer to the Arizona Ready Council. She has a reputation as being a fine leader who is wonderful with people and deeply dedicated to education and community involvement.